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posted by takyon on Thursday December 07, @05:43AM   Printer-friendly
from the petros-per-gallon dept.

Enter the 'petro': Venezuela to launch oil-backed cryptocurrency

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro looked to the world of digital currency to circumvent U.S.-led financial sanctions, announcing on Sunday the launch of the "petro" backed by oil reserves to shore up a collapsed economy. The leftist leader offered few specifics about the currency launch or how the struggling OPEC member would pull off such a feat, but he declared to cheers that "the 21st century has arrived!"

"Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency," backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves, Maduro said in his regular Sunday televised broadcast, a five-hour showcase of Christmas songs and dancing. The petro, he said, would help Venezuela "advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade."

Opposition leaders derided the announcement, which they said needed congressional approval, and some cast doubt on whether the digital currency would ever see the light of day in the midst of turmoil. The real currency, the bolivar, is in freefall, and the country is sorely lacking in basic needs like food and medicine.

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  • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Thursday December 07, @11:48AM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @11:48AM (#606768) Homepage Journal

    why don't Venezuelans just start using BitCoin

    Oh, they are, they are.

    Meanwhile, the Venesuelan government is desperate. Having destroyed the country's economy through sheer incompetence, they are flat broke. They can't afford to buy BitCoin. By starting their own cryptocurrency, they hope to sucker people into handing them money. Bet that they will first mine most of the coins and then toss it onto the market.

    Also: just who will control the software? Even supposing they can get bunches of random people interested in this, those people will need download wallet software. Would you trust Venezuela's present government to write honest software?

    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
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